I received a nice compliment today from a friend whose résumé I wrote. Referring to an interview he has scheduled next week, he said that my résumés open doors.
I’ve been writing résumés for friends, family and myself since college, and began writing them professionally five years ago. I used to get most of my work through Elance, not so much now that Elance is Upwork. But my friend has been sending me referrals, and his referrals are sending me referrals. In appreciation, I committed to providing him with free updates for life. His field is social services, so as a result, I am developing a niche in that area. I am building expertise in LinkedIn profiles as well. It’s work I really enjoy.
Typically, people don’t realize how much they have to offer until they see it in writing, formatted to accentuate their unique talent and strengths. When I complete the document, customers often comment that they didn’t know they were that good. I find it fun to collect and extrapolate information to show a candidate’s fit for a targeted position.
Every job is different. Sometimes it is like putting together a puzzle and other times it is like sliding a slipper on Cinderella. I’ve prepared résumés for college graduates and CEOs in the local, city and international arena. Every customer is different too. Some are so hands-on that it’s a wonder they hire me to do it. Others do not even know where to begin, in which case I provide a questionnaire to get started. As a volunteer mentor, I write résumés for college students, which is great practice as well as fulfilling.
I’ve done variations of these self-marketing tools too, such as a bio that was part of a school application. One job entailed two résumés for a business partnership, which would become a key component of a portfolio to attract new clients. The most salient project was to develop a résumé bank that encapsulated 500 job description statements and objectives for a multitude of career types. That could have been steady work and the compensation was generous, but I started to run out of originality and decided writing entire résumés is more intrinsically rewarding.
Most of all, I have a passion for helping people help themselves. Effective résumés get interviews, not jobs, but any time I can open a door for someone, a window of light opens for me.